SimCity 3000

Holzberg, Carol S

Publisher: Electronic Arts, 209 Redwood Shores Pkwy., Redwood City, CA 94065; 600-245-4525; www.ea.com and www.simcity.com

Emphasis: Problem solving

Grades:4-12

Formats: Windows CD-ROM; Macintosh CD-ROM

School price: $49.99. Teacher’s guide available a, www.simcity.com

The premise of SimCity 3000, developed by Maxis, hasn’t changed from its original incarnation in 1989: As the newly elected mayor of a city, the user must create a flawless urban system while working with adrenaline-charged crises, competing interests, and a tight budget.

While the vast amount of variables that need managing might give some a headache, this program is a dynamic and compelling way for kids to experiment with models of real-world systems. This latest version incorporates new tools, more landscapes and buildings, and improved sounds and visuals that include terrific jazz riffs and 3-D graphics.

To design a successful city and be re-elected by Sim residents, kids must understand concepts from a range of disciplines, including history, economics, geography, sociology, and anthropology. They must read data maps and budget tables, and are required to think logically about sticky variables such as pollution and zoning and to predict the impact of their decisions. (Circle 99 on Free Information Card.)

Reviewer. Carol S. Holzberg, Ph.D.

“Quick Picks”(c) 1999 Miller Freeman, Inc.; reprinted by permission of Technology & Learning magazine (800-607-4410).

Copyright Peter Li, Inc. Nov/Dec 1999

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